Dr Valeria Lulla

Sir Henry Dale Fellow


Lulla Lab

Valeria (Lera) Lulla is a new Group Leader and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow in the Department of Pathology, University of Cambridge.
Lera undertook a PhD in virology in the lab of Andres Merits at the University of Tartu, Estonia.  On completion of her PhD, she moved to the USA to take up a postdoc position in the lab of Ilya Frolov, followed by two more postdocs in London with Polly Roy and in Cambridge with Andrew Firth.
Lera’s newly established group in the Department of Pathology is focusing on the replication and pathogenicity of intestinal RNA viruses, using the astroviruses and enteroviruses as model systems. Her lab is using human intestinal organoids as a platform to address gut-specific determinants of enteric virus infection.
Lab 2021: Rhian, Elizabeth, Lera, Hashim

Funding for research comes from the Royal Society, the Wellcome Trust, Newton Fund and the MRC.


Targeting the conserved stem loop 2 motif in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

Valeria Lulla, Michal P Wandel, Katarzyna J Bandyra, Rachel Ulferts, Mary Wu, Tom Dendooven, Xiaofei Yang, Nicole Doyle, Stephanie Oerum, Rupert Beale, Sara M O'Rourke, Felix Randow, Helena J Maier, William Scott, Yiliang Ding, Andrew E Firth, Kotryna Bloznelyte, Ben F Luisi

Journal of Virology, vol. 95(14), 2021 Jun 1

A hidden gene in astroviruses encodes a viroporin

Valeria Lulla, Andrew E. Firth

Nature Communications, vol. 11(1), 2020 Jul 13, pp. 4070-4070

Enterovirus Competition Assay to Assess Replication Fitness.

Valeria Lulla, Andrew E. Firth

Bio-protocol, vol. 9(10), 2019 Apr 20

An upstream protein-coding region in enteroviruses modulates virus infection in gut epithelial cells

Valeria Lulla, Adam M. Dinan, Myra Hosmillo, Yasmin Chaudhry, Lee Sherry, Nerea Irigoyen, Komal M. Nayak, Nicola J. Stonehouse, Matthias Zilbauer, Ian Goodfellow, Andrew E. Firth

Nature microbiology, vol. 4(2), 2019 Jan 1, pp. 280-292

Mutation of CD2AP and SH3KBP1 binding motif in alphavirus nsP3 hypervariable domain results in attenuated virus

Margit Mutso, Ainhoa Moliner Morro, Cecilia Smedberg, Sergo Kasvandik, Muriel Aquilimeba, Mona Teppor, Liisi Tarve, Aleksei Lulla, Valeria Lulla, Sirle Saul, Bastian Thaa, Gerald M McInerney, Andres Merits, Margus Varjak

Viruses, vol. 10(5), 2018 Mar 27

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Characterisation of the novel uORF in enteroviruses

We have recently reported that enteroviruses encode an additional protein UP in an upstream open reading frame (Lulla et al., Nature Microbiol, 2019). This project focuses on UP expression mechanism and its role in virus release in gut epithelial cells.

Characterisation of astrovirus replication and pathogenicity

This project focuses on understanding the formation of the astrovirus replication complex, RNA synthesis mechanisms, proteolytic processing, gut-specific determinants, and the molecular mechanisms responsible for neurovirulence.



University of Cambridge (Part II): two lectures on positive-sense RNA virus replication, paper presentations. London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MSc Medical Microbiology): two lectures on replication of flaviviruses and alphaviruses.